Innovation centre employs manager to strive onwards

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A THRIVING business hub has appointed a new centre manager amid portfolio expansion by its operator.

Portsmouth Technopole’s Peter Outen is the latest appointment by Oxford Innovation, which runs 20 similar premises across the UK on behalf of freeholders and local authorities.

Peter, from Havant, comes from a technological sales background, including audio visual installations and telecoms.

He said: ‘It’s like Dragons’ Den here (Technopole) at times, with entrepreneurs whizzing around and a palpable sense of ambition, positivity and energy.’

Peter takes over from Stephen Brownlie, senior centre manager, who is now leading the newly-unveiled Fareham Innovation Centre at Lee-on-the-Solent.

As senior centre manager, Stephen has direct responsibility for the Portsmouth Technopole, Fareham Innovation Centre and Ocean Village Innovation Centre in Southampton.

He said: ‘Oxford Innovation continues to develop its portfolio of centres, creating supportive business hubs for start-up and growing firms.

‘Peter is ideally suited to take the Technopole to the next level and we anticipate the centre being full within the next three months due to the long-term growth of the economy and excellent service provision.’

One of Peter’s first tasks at the five-floor Technopole, which has 94 per cent occupancy, is to oversee the £100,000 transformation of part of the ground floor. Totalling 1,500 sq ft, a new café is being fitted, along with three meeting rooms and break-out areas.

Currently there are 37 registered firms at the serviced offices with nearly 200 people employed between them.